Cannons We Have Known

On vacation, hangin’ with the heavy artillery.

If you were to flip through photo albums of my recent travels, you would instantly notice that my husband and I somehow end up next to a lot of cannons. An inordinate amount of cannons, really. Enough cannons that we could probably fill an entire scrapbook with their pictures and call it something like “Cannons We Have Known” or maybe “Seasons of Guns.”

Our proximity to many of those cannons can be attributed to our regular trips to historic sites like Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown, of course, but that still doesn’t explain why we also seem to stumble across the old weapons in more unusual places — like a fishing village in Alaska, or a farmers’ market on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, or on top of a wall in modern Northern Ireland.

Our most bizarre cannon-spotting occurred just a few weeks ago in upstate New York. Hubby and I had gone up to the Finger Lakes region for a cousin’s wedding, and we decided to drive a few more hours north to visit Niagara Falls for a day. Upon our arrival, we drove to Goat Island, the one in the middle of the American and Canadian falls, to do all of the touristy stuff like the Maid of the Mist boat ride and the excellent Cave of the Winds tour.

Once we crossed over the bridge to the island, we were waved into a public parking lot, where we pulled into the first vacant space we could find. Hubby suddenly gasped and pointed.

In front of our car was, believe it or not, a cannon strapped onto a flat-bed trailer. (We never learned what it was doing there, as lovely Niagara is not exactly known for its heavy artillery.)

Really, it’s not so much that Hubby and I seek out cannons; sometimes, the cannons seek us.




Sitka, AK


St. Augustine, FL


Edinburgh, Scotland


Yorktown, VA


Williamsburg, VA


Bunratty, Ireland

Article © 2012 by Molly E. Weeks